The answer to this questions is “it depends”.
The requirements for immigrating to Canada will depend on the immigration program that you are applying for (and we have more than 40 of them with each having their own unique requirements list). However, some general requirements that apply to most immigration programs include:
You will need to demonstrate that you have a good level of proficiency in either English or French. To learn more about the language requirements for the federal programs click here.
There is a limited number of immigration programs that will not require you to provide evidence of language proficiency, but these programs are job specific and could change at the time you decide to apply.
Most immigration programs require that you have a certain level of education. In fact, even the provincial programs, while they do not rely heavily on your education level, will require you to show that you have any post secondary education.
To learn more about how to show your education level, please click here.
Most immigration programs require that you have a work experience before applying to immigrate to Canada. This is to ensure that you have the skills and qualifications needed to contribute to the Canadian economy. Depending on the program and the province you are coming to, you either would need to show a work experience or a work experience in a specific field (TEER).
Some of the programs will list specific occupations that are eligible for immigration, while others would just expect you to show that you have an experience in a qualifying TEER.
To learn more about various work fields and their qualifications under TEER, please click here.
Canadian job offer
A job offer is NOT a general requirement to immigrate to Canada. Due to the wide array of our immigration programs, a job offer from a Canadian employer could range from a “good to have” to a “mandatory” requirement. It is a myth that one can only immigrate to Canada if they have an employer. Your specific need to have a Canadian employer will depend on your overall qualifications and ranking in our immigration system, as well as the specific program requirements.
You will need to undergo a medical exam to ensure that you are in good health and do not have any medical conditions that could pose a risk to public health, or take too much of our resources to support you. This is called medical inadmissibility. The medical examination is a requirement for every immigration program in Canada. To learn more about medical inadmissibility, please click here.
You will need to provide a police certificate from each country that you have lived in for more than six months to demonstrate that you do not have a criminal record. Please be sure to read the question on the criminal offences in detail before answering. Failure to disclose previous criminal matters could cause your application to be rejected and you to be banned from Canada for misrepresentation. To read more about police certificates, please click here.
Adequate financial resources
You will need to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself and your family members (if applicable) when you first arrive in Canada. This is called Proof of Funds, and you need to provide evidence in support of your funds. If you are applying under the Canadian Experience Class, then you are exempted from this requirement. Some immigration programs would also allow you to show that you have some funds, but also that you have a valid job offer that would ensure you have enough financial resources to support yourself while you are establishing yourself in Canada. To lear more about proof of funds for the federal programs, please click here.
It’s important to note that immigration policies and regulations can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to check with official government sources for the most up-to-date information, or to speak to an immigration lawyer who could guide you through the maze of our immigration programs.